VIDEO / PHOTOS by John Moore

Though on paper Saturday’s matchup with St. Vincent Pallotti was the final tuneup for Boys’ Latin School before starting MIAA B Conference football play, Lakers coach Ritchie Schell thought it might as well be a league game. The Panthers  already own two victories over B squads and presented several matchup problems.

The Lakers had enough answers, posting a 44-22 victory at J. Duncan Smith Field in Roland Park. Senior running back Jerel Archer rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns for Boys’ Latin (3-1 overall) and junior quarterback Logan Wisnauskas threw for two scores.

The Lake Avenue school combined a big second quarter with a steady defensive effort to keep Pallotti (5-2) at bay. The Panthers, who reached the MIAA C finals last year, defeated John Carroll School and Severn School earlier in the season.

“Pallotti has a really good defense,” said Schell. “…They’re ready to play in the B Conference.”

The Laurel school got two second half touchdown pass plays from Devin Brogden to Cameron Sullivan-Brown, who caught six passes for 134 yards. Pallotti wasn’t able to recover from a 31-8 halftime deficit.

The Lakers put 24 points in the second quarter as Wisnauskas threw a five-yard score to Davey Lizana and hit Gavin Callahan in the slot for a 39-yard touchdown. Wake Forest commit Dom Maggio split the uprights from 19 yards with 17 seconds before halftime that was set up by a fumble recovery by sophomore Desmond Banks.

It was one of four turnovers Boys’ Latin forced in the opening half, highlighted by senior linebacker Billy Wingo’s seven-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. Stephon Hill and Luke Brown heach had an interception and Dylan Gaines recorded a sack.

“We have some very good players, but together, we’re unstoppable. All our key components showed up and did their job” said Boys’ Latin senior linebacker Preston Waters, who had 1 1/2 of the Lakers’ five sacks Saturday. “I don’t think we’ve played as well as we could, but it’s still early in the season.”

The Lakers finished with 284 offensive yards as Wisnauskas (11 of 21, 141 yards) went 10 of 19 for 126 yards in the first half. Archer picked up 68 of his game-high 107 rushing yards in the second half, including a 32-yard burst, putting Boys’ Latin up 37-22 in the third.

“We started off slow, we had to get the offensive line moving,” said Archer, who had 23 carries. “The run game set up the passing game.”

Brogden, a sophomore, finished 17 of 35 for 247 yards for Pallotti and three scoring throws to Sullivan-Brown. Panthers coach Rick Peacock said his team became one-dimensional after falling behind.

“Their kicking game put us in a hole and we made some mistakes and they took advantage,” said Peacock, whose team’s first three drives started inside its five. “We had to come out of our game plan and start throwing the ball around a bit which opened us to a couple of sacks.”  

The Lakers start MIAA B competition Thursday against St. Mary’s at St. Neumann Field in Annapolis. Boys’ Latin has its first three league matches on the road (at Severn School, Oct. 11; at John Carroll School, Oct. 17).

“We got to get a couple of our defensive and offensive components ready,” said Waters, “but we’re pretty good for where we are right now.”

Boys’ Latin School 44, St. Vincent Pallotti 22

Pallotti 8 0 7 7 – 22

Boys’ Latin 7 24 6 7 – 44

First quarter

Boys’ Latin – Wingo 7 interception return (Maggio kick)

Pallotti – Sullivan-Brown 49 pass from Brogden (Patterson run)

Second quarter

Boys’ Latin – Lizana 5 pass from Wisnauskas (Maggio kick)

Boys’ Latin – Archer 8 run (Maggio kick)

Boys’ Latin – Callahan 39 pass from Wisnauskas (Maggio kick)

Boys’ Latin – Maggio 19 field goal

Third quarter

Pallotti – Sullivan-Brown 16 pass from Brogden (Patterson run)

Boys’ Latin – Archer 32 run (kick failed)

Pallotti – Sullivan-Brown 38 pass from Brogden (pass failed)

Fourth quarter

Boys’ Latin – Hill 3 run (Maggio kick)